While on this service, an Irish convict, who had escaped from his work, and had been for some time missing, was brought in. He had wandered about for several days in search of a road which he expected to have found, and which was to have conducted him to China, or the new colony; but, his strength failing with his provisions, he grew faint, and, despairing of meeting with any relief, he had just sense enough to reverse the written instructions which had been calculated solely to carry him out, directing him to keep the sun on a particular part of his body, varying according to the time of the day. By this method he travelled eastward, and in a direction that led him nearly to the head of George’s river, where a few people were settled; and, having one morning heard the report of a gun at a distance, he endeavoured to walk towards it, but was unable to make himself heard by hallooing, when night overtook him. Being faint and wearied, he took a little flour, which he still had in his pocket, and sprinkling it on some fresh water, drank it, and laid himself down to rest. In the morning, being somewhat refreshed, he again exerted himself to get forward in the direction whence the report of the gun had revived him, and soon after heard a man’s voice, upon which he hallooed again, and to his infinite joy was answered. The man, who was one of the settlers, took him to his house, recruited his spirits, and brought him into the town. On being questioned how he found his way back, he said, ’that a paper compass which had been given him was of no utility; he therefore kept his face toward the place where the sun came from; but if the hord (sic) had not been on his side, he should have been lost, for he had been two whole days without any food, except a little flour and water.’
Among the public works that were carrying on during this month must be reckoned the laying another floor in the granary at Parramatta; repairing the military barracks, store-houses, and every brick building belonging to government, which were so far decayed as to be scarcely able to support their own weight. These repairs, which they had long been in want of, and which if sooner attended to would have preserved them from the ruin they were fast approaching, with the various other buildings that were so essentially requisite, completely stood in the way of making any exertions in clearing and cultivating land, and considerably added to the expenses of the colony. At Sydney the tower of the second wind-mill was begun; and on the 31st, the building being completed for its reception, the public clock was set up, and, for the first time, announced the hour to the inhabitants at Sydney. The shipwrights were employed in constructing a flat-bottomed vessel for the carriage of planks, posts, etc.
Some heavy rain fell in this month, which for the time retarded all out-door work; but it came very opportunely for the maize, the growth of which had been rather obstructed by the dry weather which preceded.